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Email Header with the title Occasional Updates from the Music Department

Volume II, No. 2 – January 18, 2019

It is a pleasure to share with you an update on the excellent work and many events occurring in Augsburg’s Music Department. This is a big year for the department, as we will undergo our 10-year review by the National Association of Schools of Music from March 31 to April 2. Preparation includes an extensive self-study and documentation as well as a site visit by two music department leaders from other universities. Given the advances at Augsburg, we expect to have our accreditation renewed.

Our faculty are exceptionally busy teaching, recruiting, and maintaining important professional development – all of which you can read about below. You will find more information on what we’ve been up to including:

• Important curricular initiatives in music, human development, and learning, including a community teaching track that we believe is unique in the nation.
• Changes to the music therapy curriculum. We are fortunate to be conducting a national search for our third, full-time music therapy faculty member this year.
• Several faculty have taken leadership in developing updated performance standards to help our students better understand progress expectations in their performing mediums.
• The usual round of concerts, shared community performances, and side-by-side events with local high schools.
• A major initiative led by Professor Rodriguez to connect Augsburg’s music students, faculty, and programs with several programs in Latin America, which portends enhanced cultural richness for the department.

As always, we hope that you will peruse our recital, concert, and event schedule and join us as you have opportunity.

With all the exciting projects and progress we are making in the music department, I would like to encourage you to consider contributing financial support for the department. Just prior to winter break, the department received two very generous gifts, one from Beverly and Donald Oren for scholarship support, and the other from Diane and Paul Jacobson to produce Tienda, an opera by Reinaldo Moya (Schubert Club composer-in-residence) as part of Augsburg’s Sesquicentennial. If you have any questions on where and how to direct your support, please contact Ann Ulring at

With gratitude for your interest in the music department and best wishes for 2019,

David Myers


For a complete list of events, check out our calendar.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 – 4:30-6 p.m.
Using Kinesthetic Movements to Enhance Your Choral Rehearsal
A choral conductor’s clinic with Richard Bjella
Music Hall, Room M3, RSVP Required, full details

Friday, January 25 – Music Exploration Day
Do you know a student that might be interested in Music at Augsburg? – Register today!

Saturday, January 26 – 4 p.m. Performance
9th & 10th Grade Honor Band Festival
Hoversten Chapel, Augsburg University

April 11 & 12 – Grammy nominated “Chicagoans of the Year,” Spektral Quartet in residence
The Spektral Quartet is one of the most exciting new ensembles in the country, receiving critical acclaim not only for its artistry but also its business model, mentoring of students, and engagement of diverse audiences. Join us for their concert in Antonello Hall at the MacPhail Center on Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. During the day they will conduct master classes and perform Augsburg composition students’ works. They appear in collaboration with the MacPhail Center for Music.

May 16-19, International Conference of the International Society for Improvisation in Music
Held on the Augsburg campus, guests and presenters from around the world will perform and discuss improvisation in the organization’s first conference in the Twin Cities.


Starting in the Fall 2016 semester, Daniel Albert (assistant professor of music, human development, and learning) and Tim Buzza (adjunct instructor of music, human development, and learning) undertook a major revision of the music education licensure program. Thanks to the efforts of Augsburg’s Education and Music Departments, six new courses were created that better prepare Augsburg students to create meaningful and relevant musical experiences for their future K-12 students:

• Introduction to Learning, Teaching, and Technology in Music
• Elementary and Secondary General Music Methods
• Special Education in Music Education (working with special learners in music education contexts)
• Instrumental Methods in Music Education
• Choral Methods in Music Education
• Music Teacher Performance Assessment and Student Teaching Seminar

The revised program was recently approved by the State of Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board and has been lauded by educators throughout Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. The revised curriculum mirrors that of nationally renowned music education programs, meets National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) standards, makes Augsburg’s program competitive with peer institutions, and prepares Augsburg’s music education students to work with 21st century students in K-12 schools.

As we transition from being known as a “music education” program to a “human development and learning program,” we also reconceptualized the scope of music education to include not only K-12 learning and teaching, but also early childhood, community-based, adult, and eldercare learning and teaching. As part of this change of program vision combined with Daniel’s and Tim’s multi-year efforts, Augsburg’s Academic Affairs Committee recently approved a non-licensure community-based music education option that provides additional opportunities for students to explore their vocation of music education. Students have the opportunity to create their own pathway that focuses their efforts towards music learning and teaching beyond that of the traditional K-12 music education program. The diversity of options, including electives geared towards one’s specific vocational area and full semester internships, will encourage students who might have wanted to teach music outside of K-12 settings to pursue this major option and be prepared to teach in community-based settings.

With the creation of these two competitive and unique options, Augsburg’s music department has positioned itself as a progressive leader in the field of human development and learning. Please spread the word!


Daniel Albert (music, human development, and learning) presented sessions on student teaching, 21st Century classroom music spaces, and technology in music education to in-service music educators at the October 2018 Wisconsin State Music Conference, the November 2018 Iowa Music Educators Association’s In-Service Conference, and the January 2019 Florida Music Educators Association’s In-Service Conference. He’ll also present sessions for music educators at the Minnesota Music Educators Association’s Midwinter Clinic in February and serve as a guest lecturer at Indiana University South Bend. Additionally, Daniel represented Augsburg as a panelist at the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies’ (GTCYS) College Planning Workshop, worked with the Columbia Academy (Columbia Heights Public Schools) Seventh and Eighth Grade Bands in a rehearsal clinic format, and reviewed research presentation submissions for the American Educational Research Association’s Annual Meeting in Toronto.

Daniel’s research studies on mentoring strategies of first-time cooperating teachers and creating classroom cultures conducive to creativity were accepted for presentation at the 11th biennial International Research in Music Education conference, which will take place in April 2019 at Bath Spa University in Bath, England. Daniel is also in the midst of collecting data for a collaborative research study on mentoring networks for both novice and experienced K-12 music educators with the intent of improving music educator support and professional development.

Daniel and Tim Buzza (adjunct instructor in music, human development, and learning) are in the midst of planning the June 2019 Augsburg University Professional Development Week for school and community-based music educators. Critical issues in music education, including culturally relevant pedagogy, social justice and equity, working with special learners, creativity, technology, and classroom management will be examined in depth with a host of Augsburg faculty and outstanding music educators from around the Twin Cities to serve as clinicians. Daniel and Tim were also instrumental in the creation and subsequent approval of Augsburg’s licensure program for K-12 music education, as well as the non-licensure community-based music education program.

Kristina Boerger (choral leadership) was featured as the Guest Editor of the October 2018 issue of Choral Journal, a special-focus issue on choral communities and social justice. For this issue she solicited and edited articles from six authors as well as contributing her editions of interviews conducted with three other artists.

Also in October her concert work as a chamber soprano with Pomerium brought her to New York City to present a program of mannerist Renaissance motets. In November she appeared in three Twin Cities venues as a soprano with The Rose Ensemble in a program of music from the Thirty-Years’ War shared with the Dark Horse Consort; joining in as collaborators were her students in The Augsburg Choir. Holiday concertizing included singing two performances of Pomerium’s Renaissance Christmas program Creator of the Stars as presented in Milwaukee by Early Music Now and two performances at Manhattan’s Guggenheim Museum with New York’s Vox Vocal Ensemble, featuring the world premiere of Sarah Kirkland Snider’s “You Must Feel with Certainty” on texts by Hilma af Klint, the visionary artist whose works are currently on display in the Guggenheim rotunda. Images

Erin Fox (music therapy adjunct faculty) received IRB approval to be primary investigator on a grounded theory research study on music therapy clinical assessment of hospice patients when death is imminent. She is collaborating with Alexa Economos, MMT, MT-BC of Children’s Hospital of Cincinnati and Noah Potvin, PhD, MT-BC of Duquesne University.

Annie Heiderscheit (music therapy) gave the keynote address and presented a workshop on professional development and supervision in music therapy at the inaugural Music Therapy Educators Conference held at The Central Conservatory in Beijing, China in October. She also provided a workshop to community music therapists in the Beijing area on program development in music therapy. She co-authored an article with Dr. Alison Short (University of Western Sydney), entitled “Interprofessional research in guided imagery and music: Working collaboratively,” published in Approaches: Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy. She also co-authored an article with recent music therapy undergraduate, Kaylie Johnson ‘17 in the Journal of Music Therapy. This article entitled, “A survey of music therapy methods and practices on adolescent mental health units,” was based on Kaylie’s undergraduate research, funded by URGO, in which Dr. Heiderscheit served as her research mentor.

In November, Annie presented at the American Music Therapy Association Conference in Dallas, Texas. She copresented the following presentations:

1. Conducting clinical research: A guide through the research process (5-hour CMTE)
2. Advocacy for the profession of music therapy: International perspectives
3. Music therapy abroad: Ethics, implications, and cultural considerations

Annie is also working on a collaborative research project with colleagues from Indiana University and Mayo Clinic. This project is focused on using a patient-directed music listening intervention to decrease delirium in the intensive care unit. The research team is gathering pilot data in this study to apply for a research grant through the National Institutes of Health in Spring 2019.

Peter John’s (piano) work as YNKE, a collaboration of singer Ashley Dubose, semifinalist on NBC’s The Voice, and fellow producer Lance Conrad was signed to LA based Masterphonic. This companies past production credits include creating Madonna’s breakout album and grammy award winning broadway musical “The Color Purple”. Listen to their breakout single Back To Reality on Spotify. As a composer, his Electronic and Choral Composition, Hummingbird, a collaboration with choral composer Jocelyn Hagen was performed by Colorado State University in October with another performance by the composers with Texas State University Choir in Austin, Texas on April 28. As SPEARFISHER, Peter recorded and released his first solo electronic music album based on his brother’s science fiction dystopian novel Thinspace. Listen to Thinspace on Spotify. And as Duo Futur, his pop forward collaboration with Cellist Cicely Parnas, has released 5 new music video covers which were produced and recorded in the last semester.

Reinaldo Moya (composition; theory) has been commissioned by the Twin Cities Ballet to create a Latino ballet composition through a collaborative community process. The funding for this project is provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board Arts Access Grant. In the fall of 2018, Reinaldo Moya served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts – Arts Work grant. He reviewed applications from music organizations from all over the United States. Reinaldo is a finalist for an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. More information regarding the award should be forthcoming in 2019.

David Myers (consulting head, music studies) led in planning and implementing a day-long pre-conference session on inclusion, access, and equity at the national meeting of the College Music Society in Vancouver, BC. In January he will lead a session on music curriculum revision in higher education at the 21st Century Music Schools conference in Columbia, SC. In February, he will keynote the Nordic International Conference on Music Research in Stockholm.

An article by Mark Sedio ‘76 (Masterworks Chorale) entitled “The International Language of Music” appeared in the January 2019 edition of Living Lutheran, the national monthly publication of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. For the past several years Sedio has traveled around the United States, Canada and Europe presenting lectures on the importance of incorporating global music in worship and offering workshops on performance techniques. Last May a grant from the Finlandia Foundation National allowed him to spend three weeks in Finland where he focused on research concerning Finnish Orthodox choral traditions.

Bob Stacke, Ph.D. and Professor Emeritus, was a guest conductor and clinician at Edison High School on January 10. Bob conducted a Somali piece by the Dur Dur band “Ladaneey” arranged specifically for this occasion by alumni Steve Herzog. Both Steve and Bob have visited Edison prior to the performance talking about Somali music. Specifically, it’s history, structured and the unique performance techniques it takes to properly interpret Somali Music. Bob was excited to be back at Edison as he taught there for 5 years at the beginning of his career. This spring, Bob will be the feature artist for the month of May at Palmer’s Bar. This is his third showing of photographs of the patrons and musicians who frequent this unique Cedar/Riverside establishment.

Erika Svanoe (wind band; conducting) completed a new piece commissioned by Fergus Falls Public Schools titled “Echoes” for concert band. The piece is based on the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center, a former hospital that opened its doors to patients in 1890 and has been a significant historical landmark in the Fergus Falls community. The piece will be premiered in March with over 300 students performing at the school district’s mass band concert. Erika will also appear as a guest on the Source Material Podcast, a podcast on wind band repertoire hosted by Sean Dennison Smith. She will be talking about her composition “Steampunk Suite” for wind ensemble. The episode will be released on February 27 and will be available at